Less Active Returned MIssionaries (Article)

Less Active Returned MIssionaries (Article)

This article is right on the money.  Being a LARM myself for several years, I can attest that it’s easy to let shame take over and not want to come back because you feel afraid.  I was comfortable sitting just outside the circle for a long time; I’m still working on getting all the way back into the mix.  It was the caring, non-judgmental example of a few friends and family that really convinced me (by which I mean reminded me) that the Gospel and the Church really were what I wanted for myself.  Now, for what it’s worth, I’m back–I’m afraid my ward members are just going to be stuck with me.


Babies Make Everything Better

Yesterday some people were being jurks on Twitter, and I read about it on the way home from work.  But then I got home and I got to play with a baby for several hours, and it made it all better.

Sometimes the Answer to Your Prayers Is a Kick in the Pants on Facebook

The other night I was feeling a bit discouraged about my life.  As I said my evening prayers, I felt prompted to check my phone.  It was sitting right there; I could see the little light flashing.

I thought, that’s silly.  Why would I need to check my phone now?  It’s bedtime.  But I did check it.

The little light was flashing because one of my friends had responded to a complainy post of mine on Facebook.  Basically, he told me that I should stop whining and get up and do; that I was still in my twenties, for heaven’s sake, and my life was far from over.  It was a good kick in the pants.  It was what I needed to hear.

And the funniest part is, it felt good to get a good kick in the pants on Facebook.  I felt from God that I was loved and that I was not forgotten about.  I am always grateful when the Lord chews me out with love.

Fractal Relationships

The other night I was wrestling with what I thought was a difficult question and asking the Lord, “Why? Why is it this way?”

Instead of a direct answer, I saw a picture in my mind of my baby son crying. And I understood: my son’s relationship to me is like my relationship to my Heavenly Father.  The father in each case understands things the son does not, cannot understand yet.  I could try to explain to Baby why he has to go to bed, but it wouldn’t help much.  Sometimes all my Heavenly Father can tell me is “It’ll be okay, son.”

Baby’s only three months old, and I’m already learning so much from him.

Never give in. …

Never give in. Never surrender. Never allow despair to overcome your spirit.

–Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Heaven Help Us

I’ve reproduced.

My baby is now just over 5 weeks old–I’ve barely had the energy to post to my public blog, let alone go to work, let alone also take care of my wife and child.  But today, weirdly, I feel like posting.  So I post.

I have learned a lot from Baby already.  It has given me new perspective to think that we may have had something important to accomplish in mortality, yet we enter it as babies: helpless, nearsighted, unable to regulate our own temperature or digestion very well.  It takes many years for us to become the people God wants us to be.  And He seems okay with it.  I feel that my baby is to me like I am to my Heavenly Father: He has to do everything for me, I am always crying out for help and needing attention, but He doesn’t mind attending to me because He loves me.

I’m sure there’s lots more to learn.  Hopefully I will post again.

Fratres (Arvo Pärt)

Fratres is one of the few pieces of music I can honestly say changed my life. I first heard it at a new music concert at Rose Wagner theater a few years ago. As far as I can tell, it depicts (if it depicts anything) a group of monks walking past you and praying as you sit in a church. The completely static drone in the 2nd Violin creates a feeling of absolute calm and serenity such as I had never previously experienced in any piece of music. I went home and looked up every song by Pärt I could find. My own music changed greatly because of this piece and my subsequent obsession with spiritual minimalist music. I realized that if Pärt (and others) could build such music out of very simple harmonic, nay, diatonic materials, I could do it too. There was no need to inject gross amounts of dissonance unless it was otherwise called for. Some of the music I wrote since then has been called “kitschy,” “a pastiche,” and ” . . . great drama, but I can’t stand the music” by people in the know, but I don’t mind. The music I write these days comes from my deep soul, a deep soul I didn’t realize was there until this piece unlocked it for me.